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8 Key Considerations for Building a Restaurant

Starting a business may seem appealing, but the financial investment, logistical challenges, lack of support, and equipment requirements can be daunting. While 30% of new restaurants fail in the first year, you can take steps to prevent your restaurant from being part of that statistic. To set your business up for success, it’s crucial to be fully prepared before beginning construction. Here are eight tips to consider for a successful restaurant construction project.

1. Choosing the right contractor is crucial to the success of your project.

If you want your restaurant to survive beyond the first year, it’s crucial to hire a top-notch restaurant construction team. Opting for the cheapest contractor is often a poor decision as you tend to get what you pay for. You need design-build services of exceptional quality that will ensure your restaurant’s success.

It’s important to prioritize hiring a general contractor who specializes in commercial construction. Such a contractor has in-depth knowledge of the specific details that make commercial buildings successful, unlike one who mainly deals with residential projects.

2. Restaurants rely on location as a crucial factor for generating revenue.

To bring your restaurant construction project to fruition, it’s important to collaborate with a restaurant architect who works closely with the contractor.

Partnering with a top-rated construction company and architect will keep you informed of your budget, timeline, and design options at all times, guaranteeing a high-quality outcome.

Before starting restaurant construction, finding the perfect location can be a challenging task. You want a spot that is easily accessible and located in a high-traffic area but also has reasonable rent.

To find a suitable location, consider your restaurant’s target audience and try to strike a balance that suits their needs. Depending on your concept, a secluded neighborhood may be a better fit, while other restaurants do better in busy urban areas near office parks.

Thoroughly research the locations you’re interested in by asking yourself key questions like:

  • Is it accessible?
  • Does it attract more car or foot traffic?
  • What other types of restaurants are nearby?
  • Is there a demand for your business in the area?
  • How easy would it be to reach customers in the vicinity?

3. New Construction vs Remodel

Constructing a new restaurant from the ground up in a highly populated urban area can be expensive and challenging due to limited space availability.

To overcome these challenges, consider renovating an older building instead of building a new space. Keep an open mind and be willing to explore all options. However, selecting an excellent commercial remodeling team remains crucial to ensure the success of your project.

4. Building codes are mandatory.

It is essential to comply with all building codes in your county during restaurant construction. Failing to do so can result in legal fines and endanger your employees and patrons.

Several codes are mandatory, including egress codes, accessibility codes, and fire codes. Egress codes specify the number of exits required for each room, depending on its square footage. Accessibility codes ensure compliance with wheelchair accessibility requirements, such as providing ramps, appropriate hallway widths, and unobstructed flooring. Fire codes mandate fire safety equipment like fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms, and smoke detectors.

Working with a reputable commercial contractor can ensure that your restaurant meets all required building codes and that you obtain all necessary licenses and permits.

5. Functional Layout maximizes efficiency and improves the client experience

In any restaurant, there are many cooks in the kitchen. When constructing a new restaurant, it’s important to design the space to be functional and accessible for employees and guests. To avoid discovering a cramped and nonfunctional kitchen after opening, ensure your kitchen equipment vendor and architect collaborate closely to coordinate the layout of all equipment.

6. Establish a realistic budget

Many remodeling projects cost more than people think they will. It’s wise to communicate openly with your construction company to get a clear expectation of how much your project will cost.

In order to keep yourself from going over budget, you may have to pivot directions or swap out nice-to-haves with something more affordable. This is another area where working with a respected restaurant construction team will be invaluable. Experts in the industry will be able to point you in the right direction so you aren’t overwhelmed.

7. Select a Design that Complements Your Menu

When designing your restaurant’s interior, aim to transport your guests to a unique environment that complements your menu and restaurant type (e.g., fast-casual, fine dining). To avoid confusion, keep the layout simple and clearly designate areas such as the host stand or service counter. Mismatching the decor and menu, such as serving Southern food in a beach-themed setting, can be awkward for customers.

8. Construction During the Slow Season

Many restaurants have a slow season with lower attendance and sales. Identify your region or city’s slow season, and if feasible, schedule construction during that period to avoid losing business during the high-volume season.

Trustworthy Team for Restaurant Construction

Before starting a new restaurant build, it’s essential to consider the eight key factors. Most of these aspects can be expertly managed by an experienced commercial contractor, so it’s crucial to prioritize working with a competent team.

At Maxx Builders, we specialize in commercial construction and offer design-build and construction management services for successful projects.

Contact us today to discuss your restaurant construction needs, and we’ll be delighted to assist you.

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